Is there a time limit to file a car accident claim?

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Many people go their entire lives without a car accident, while others find themselves having accidents every few years. No matter how experienced you are with car accidents, most victims have the same questions. 

  • Should I get a lawyer? 
  • Is there a time limit to file a car accident claim? 

If the accident is relatively small with no injuries, you generally don’t need an attorney to handle your case. 

However; it’s better to be safe than sorry, so you should meet with an attorney if you have any doubts. Most law offices offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose in meeting with an experienced car accident lawyer. 

David Aylor is an experienced car accident attorney, and the most common question he hears in consultations is:

“Do I Still Have Time to File?”

Most victims of accidents will contact their insurance companies immediately, while others take their time. Technically, you have three years from the date of your accident to file your car accident claim. It can seem like this is a lot of time, but some cases are more complex than others. If you are going to file a car accident claim, you need to do it immediately following your accident. You don’t want to miss out on any compensation because you missed a deadline. 


Is there a time limit to notify my insurance company?

You will need to check your insurance policy to see if there is a specific window where you need to report. In most cases, your insurance company wants you to report an accident in a timely manner. Your insurance company could even hear about your accident before you have time to report it yourself. As a good rule of thumb, it’s important that you notify your insurance company when you leave the scene of the accident. 


How can I settle my claim?

If you have serious injuries or property damage, we recommend hiring an attorney. Even though you feel like your insurance company is looking out for your best interests, they aren’t. Insurance companies are only focused on their profits, which means that they need to deny claims and settle for less. Hiring an attorney to speak on your behalf shows insurance companies that you’re serious. In fact, having a lawyer on your side increases your chances of getting a proper settlement. Don’t risk a lower settlement by handling your case on your own. 


Is there an average settlement amount?

No. Every case is different, so we have to review your case before we can discuss your settlement. There are some things that will affect the amount of your settlement:

  • Severity of injuries
  • If the other driver was intoxicated
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of income
  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages

Someone who broke their spine in an accident is going to receive a larger settlement than someone who broke an arm. We have handled numerous cases, so we can give you an idea of the compensation you could receive. 


Should I take the insurance company’s first offer?

No. The first offer you receive will be the lowest offer from the insurance company. They hope that you are going to take this offer, so that they don’t have to pay you what you deserve. Most victims are in desperate need for compensation to cover their bills, and insurance companies take advantage of them. Hiring a lawyer ensures that you don’t settle for any of these lowball offers. 

Remember, if you do talk to your insurance company on the phone, every call is recorded. So, they could use anything that you say against you in your case. You shouldn’t go on record with your insurance company until you have spoken with your attorney. In South Carolina, if you are found at fault in your accident, you could receive a lower settlement. 


Hire a Charleston car accident attorney today

If you have been in a car accident, you need to act immediately. We’re here to help investigate your accident and build you a strong claim to get the compensation that you deserve. You don’t have any time to lose. Contact us today to go over the details of your accident.

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